Do you believe that God is bigger than this problem? Welcome to Love Worth Finding featuring profound truth simply stated by pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers. Praise is a powerful thing in times of joy and in times of hell. But especially in times of trouble. In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat faced fierce opposition on all sides.
Likewise, every Christian will encounter problems in the form of sin, sorrow, or death. But the king's response to this opposition shows us how to praise our way to victory. If you have your Bible, turn to 2 Chronicles 20, we'll begin in verse 1, as Adrian Rogers shares part 2 of Praise Your Way to Victory. Let me give you what happened to good King Jehoshaphat. It's one of the greatest blessings in all of the Bible.
This is a magnificent chapter. You will be incredibly blessed and instructed if you will open your Bible now and follow along with me and find out what happened to good King Jehoshaphat and what he did about it and what you can do when similar things happen to you. Verse 1, notice in verses 1 and 2 that he encountered a problem.
In verse 1, and it came to pass after this also that the children of Moab and the children of Ammon and with them other besides the Ammonites came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Here's the problem. They just had revival and then here comes the herald to say, look out, you've got some enemies that are coming. Now, you will encounter a problem and when you encounter a problem, you need to see it as it really is a blessing in disguise.
Put it down, big, plain, and straight. If you are a Christian or a non-Christian, makes no difference, you will encounter a problem. Second thing, when he encountered a problem, he established a purpose. Look now in verses 3 and 4. And Jehoshaphat feared and set himself to seek the Lord and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah and Judah gathered themselves together to ask help of the Lord. Even out of all of the cities of Judah, they came to seek the Lord. They came together in convocation.
They came together in fasting. When he encountered a problem, he established a purpose and that purpose was to seek the face of Almighty God. The other thing he did, he examined his past. Look if you will now in verse 7. Art not thou our God who did drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel and gave it to the seed of Abraham thy friend forever? He's not reviewing.
He's just reviewing the past. He's looking backward and he says, God, you have all power. You have power over all the nations, over the heathen. You are the one who gave this land to Abraham.
You are the one who drove out the Canaanites in the past. Lord, you have done it before. And then he embraced the promise. He's saying, Lord, you gave us this land and, Lord, you told us that when trouble, difficulty, pestilence, famine, enemies came, Lord, if we would seek your face, that, Lord, you would hear and, Lord, that you would deliver us. And now, Lord, I'm holding you to it. Look in verse 11.
Behold, I say, how they rewarded us to come to cast us out of thy possession which thou hast given us to inherit. Now, listen. He found a promise of God and he said, I'm going to stand on that promise he hath said that I may boldly say.
Now, here's the fifth thing he did. He exposed his powerlessness. You see, he's not an arrogant man.
This is not self-confidence. Now, look in verses 12 and 13. O our God, wilt thou not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us. Neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon thee. And Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
Can you see them standing there with their little children and saying, God, we don't know what to do. But, God, we've got a promise from you. And, God, our eyes are upon you. Our eyes are not upon ourselves. Our eyes are not upon our enemy. Our eyes are not upon circumstances. Our eyes are on you. And, Lord, if we die, we're going to die with our eyes on you. Do you think God's going to forsake people like that?
He can't do it. They've gotten a promise. And they are standing on the promise of God, exposing their own powerlessness.
We don't know what to do. We don't have any strength, but we are looking to you. When I was meditating on this verse, an old hymn came to me. And I got up and got my hymnal and just wrote these words out of it. Abide with me.
Fast falls the eventide. The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee. Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
Everybody's saying, I'm helpless. But, Lord, my eyes are on you. Now, not only did he expose his powerlessness, but he enlisted there for his protection. Now begin, if you will, in verses 14 and following. And then upon Jehaziel, the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jehiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation.
And he said, here's a man now that God's Spirit comes upon him. And he says, Harken ye, all Judah, and all ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat. Thus saith the Lord to you, be not afraid, nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but the Lord's.
Tomorrow go ye down against them, and behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz, and ye shall find them at the end of the brook before the wilderness of Jeruel. And ye shall not need to fight in this battle. Set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you. O Judah and Jerusalem, fear not, nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord will be with you. What he does now, as he exposes his powerlessness, he at this time engages or enlists his own protection. And God is saying to him, through this man, and by the way, I love this, the Spirit of God comes upon one man in the congregation, and that man stands up to encourage all of the rest of them to take the promise of God and make it live in their hearts. Has God ever done that to you?
Have you been in a problem and some preacher or some song or some scripture or some book has just taken the Word of God and made it alive to you, makes it vibrant to you, makes it real to you, and God just speaks to you and God says, it's going to be all right. The battle is not yours, Jehoshaphat. And by the way, the battle never has been ours.
It doesn't depend upon our ability. It depends upon his ability and our response to his ability, which is our response ability to depend upon him. Now, he enlisted his protection and then, as we sharpen the focus, look at this. He engaged his preparation. He's getting ready for a battle now and notice what he does in verses 18 and 19. And then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground and Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. That's what was underscored in my Bible, worshiping the Lord.
That's what we've been talking about. And the Levites of the children of the Korthites and of the children of the Korhites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And they rose up early in the morning and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa. And as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Oh, Judah and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established. Believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord.
Now, what he did, he just engaged his preparation. He began to worship God. Whenever you have any kind of a problem, any kind of a battle, any kind of a situation, you establish a purpose to seek God. You get a promise from God.
You stand on that promise. Let the Holy Spirit of God make that promise real to you. And then you just simply began to worship God. Now, what did he do after he engaged his preparation and began to worship?
He expressed his praise. Look again now in verses 20 and following. And they rose up early in the morning, and I've read that part of this, but let me read it again. They went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa, and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established.
Believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that they should praise the beauty of holiness as they went out before the Lord, and to say, Praise the Lord, for his mercy endureth forever. And notice verse 22. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord sent ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, which were come against Judah, and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir utterly to slay and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another. Now, what happens is this when they began to praise.
Well, let's go on to verse 24. And when Judah came toward the watchtower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and behold, there were dead bodies falling through the earth, and none escaped, as they're going forth to sing and to praise the beauty of holiness. After they worshiped the Lord, they began to praise the Lord.
And as they do, a strange thing happens. The enemy turns on himself. Now, let me tell you this about praise. Praise infuses the energy of God, and praise confuses the enemies of God. There's something about praise that sends the enemy into consternation and confusion. I have seen there's a pattern in the Bible that when God's people begin to praise him, when God's people say, our eyes are upon you, God sends confusion into the camp of the enemy.
I could take my Bible tonight and show you four or five instances where this precise thing had happened where people began to trust God, look to God, praise God, and the enemy turns on himself and destroys himself. Now, if you're in the middle of a problem, begin to praise God, because God says, the battle is not yours, but it's mine, but you're going to have a part in the battle. And your part in the battle is praise. And you can't hide until the battle is over and then praise the Lord. You say, Lord, when you've done it all and when you've given me the victory, then I'm going to praise you. And God says, you're not going to have any victory until you start praising, until you start singing. You say, well, I can't sing and I can't praise yet because I don't have any victory yet. And God says, all right, I'm not going to do anything yet. You say, well, I can't praise God in the middle of my problems and God says, okay, live with them. Now, folks, I'm telling you, it's praise that comes not after the victory. It is praise that comes before the victory.
Why is this? That is the ultimate faith when we begin to praise God before we see the answer, because that's our way of saying, God, we don't know how you're going to do it. That's none of our business to know, but, God, you're bigger than this problem and therefore I praise you. He just expressed his praise. Praise when we pray is unbelief. Philippians 4, verse 6, be careful for nothing.
That means don't worry about anything. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. Or Colossians 4, verse 2, continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving.
What kind of thanksgiving? Just thank you, Lord, for the victory. I praise you, Lord, for the victory. Prayer and praise are the two wings of spiritual power.
Now, here's the next thing he did. After he expressed his praise, he enjoyed the provisions. Look, if you will, now in verses 25 and following. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them... By the way, the enemy just decimated himself. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves more than they could carry away. And they were three days in gathering of the spoil.
It was so much. Now, not only did Jehoshaphat have victory over the enemy, but he ended up with the enemy's possessions. That's just like our God. Did you know that Satan, in a very real way, is God's messenger boy to bring you blessings? You say, not the devil. Yes, he was. Paul called him a messenger of Satan. An angel of Satan coming to tempt me. But he was really a servant of the Lord. And it happens so many times that when somebody comes against us to hurt us, to harm us, whether it be the world, the flesh, or the devil, and we really and truly begin to praise God, at that time we are enriched. I know that one time in Florida when I was pastor there at Merritt Island, somebody, the reporter in the local newspaper there, said to me, Mr. Rogers, I'm going to do a profile on you.
I said, what is a profile? He said, I'm going to do an investigative story on you. Our church was growing fast and we were kind of a high profile church there. Now, this man hated Christians. He hated the Baptist particularly. And he hated Baptist preachers most of all.
But he had that kind of an ability, very sarcastic and very cutting. And he said, I'm going to do a profile on you. He said, you can cooperate with me if you want to or not.
It makes no difference to me. But he said, I'm going to find out everything about you and I'm going to put it in the paper. I didn't have anything I was particularly ashamed of. And I said, well, I don't have any secrets, anything you want to know. I said, you're free to follow me around, ask any questions, come sit in my office sometime if you want and watch me do what I do. So people at the newspaper that worked over there who knew me and loved me said, Pastor, we know this man. He's really out to do you in.
He's got a vendetta and he is going to write a scurrilous story about you. Well, I told Jesus on him and then I went to the Word of God to do exactly what I'm telling you that Jehoshaphat did. I went to the Word of God to find a promise and God gave me a promise. Now, has God ever just taken a word out of the word and made that word good to you? God gave me this promise and it's Isaiah 54 verse 17.
Here's what it said. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is from me, saith the Lord. Isn't that a good verse? That's Isaiah 54 verse 17. That would have been a good verse any time but God just took that verse and God made that verse my verse. I read that verse frequently over and over again and prayed it back to the Lord and just stood upon that verse and Jehoshaphat got a word from God to stand upon it and God told me, My son, the battle is not yours. It's mine.
You just trust me. And so people were telling me, Pastor, we've read snippets of this story. This man is doing a real hatchet job on you and I just kept praising the Lord. Upon a time he came to the First Baptist Church in Merritt Island where I was pastor and he came in his scraggly old clothes and he had his photographer there with him making a nuisance of himself while I'm preaching out around and taking shots and so forth and I got through the service and God blessed the service in a wonderful way and the people were just so happy in the Lord and I was glad for that testimony. Then I stood at the front door shaking hands and our church was much smaller.
It just had one door where I could stand there and shake hands and he was there with his photographer making shots of me shaking hands and it so happened. I don't know why it happened that Sunday. Well, just by the providence of God that a man who was in his very zenith in football showed up at our church that morning. His name was Johnny Unitus.
Johnny Unitus at that time was the best known football player in the world. He showed up at the First Baptist Church in Merritt Island. He'd never been there before and never since. What he was doing in my services I have no idea but one of the ushers came up and whispered to me. I didn't even know he was there when I was preaching, said, Pastor, Johnny Unitus was in the service this morning. I said, you've got to be kidding.
He said, no. So I'm standing there shaking hands and this man, this photographer is right behind me and out comes Johnny Unitus. I said, good morning, John.
Good to have you this morning. He said, great sermon, Pastor. I said, thank you very much. I said, how are you, Ms. Jones and so forth. The guy behind me said, who is that? I said, that was Johnny Unitus. He said, what is he doing here?
He said, he's doing worship. How are you, Ms. Smith? Good to see you. Well, I blew him out of the saddle. And I was thinking, oh, good night. Johnny Unitus is here and I don't even have a camera. But the guy right behind me got a picture of me shaking hands for me with Johnny Unitus, which picture I have.
And I just thought, you know God does little neat things like that. So after it was over, I got a letter from him, this scurrilous reporter. And he said, well, I guess you'll be happy to know that I have been fired. He said, they didn't like my story. He said, they have rewritten it.
And he said, they've done a puff job on you. And I just thought to myself, uh-huh, no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.
And their righteousness is for me, saith the Lord. Now, that doesn't mean that we always get out unscathed. But I'm telling you, folks, we have to learn to praise God in times of trouble. And until we begin to praise God with our troubles, we just live with them.
God brings us these problems to bring us to Him. And the very things that we dread are those things that break with blessings on our heads. And here was old King Jehoshaphat, took them three days to carry away the booty of the battle because they learned to go forth and praise the Lord. And we can, we shall praise our way to victory.
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